United Kingdom

221B Baker Street: The Sherlock Holmes Museum in London

On a dreary Sunday last month, as we were brainstorming ideas to get us out of the house, but also keep us out of the weather, we hit on 221B Baker Street, the Sherlock Holmes Museum in London. Now, I should preface this by admitting that I haven’t read any Sherlock stories since the 6th grade, and two Sherlock Holmes movies and a couple episodes of Elementary does not a true fan make, but I was still quite interested in seeing the recreation of the home of Sir Arthur Conan Doyle’s most famous fictional character.

221B Baker Street: The Sherlock Holmes Museum In London

We could see the queue outside the Sherlock Holmes Museum from down the street, which typically isn’t a very good sign, especially if the clouds above you are ominously dark and you’ve forgotten your umbrella at home.

We went inside the museum’s gift shop to purchase our tickets (£8 for adults, £5 for kids) before joining the queue at the museum door. The Sherlock Holmes Museum gift shop is one of the better ones I’ve seen, but if you visit, don’t get distracted. Buy your tickets and join the queue asap. You’ll have plenty of time to purchase your very own pipe and deerstalker cap after the tour!

The queue, surprisingly, moved quicker than we expected. Every fifteen minutes or so, groups of visitors were allowed to enter and then a 19th century policeman would move to stand guard over the front door. He stays in character and is happy to oblige if you really must have your photo taken with him. After only thirty minutes of waiting, it was our turn to enter.

221B Baker Street: The Sherlock Holmes Museum In London

221B Baker Street: The Sherlock Holmes Museum In London

Sherlock’s Bedroom

We climbed 17 steps and were told by the maid, also in character, that our first stop would be Sherlock’s bedroom. It was a good thing we had been the first people in our group to enter because this bedroom was tiny. Even with just the three of us in here, it felt tight. As others from our group started joining us in the bedroom, it became difficult to move around and look at the contents in the room. I felt a bit rushed to move on so that others could have an opportunity to see the room, too. And you guys know how much I hate to be rushed. I like taking my time everywhere we go!

221B Baker Street: The Sherlock Holmes Museum In London

221B Baker Street: The Sherlock Holmes Museum In London

Sherlock’s Study

And so we quickly moved along to Sherlock’s beautiful Victorian study, sitting room, and laboratory in one. This was the most detailed and interesting of all the rooms we saw, but also the most popular and so, once again, we felt pressure to keep moving, but not before we took a kitschy photo with props next to Sherlock’s fireplace. (I’m being completely serious when I say I think I pulled that look off pretty well. It’s the boots – they belong with that hat!) These photos are rather awkward to take since there are a dozen people watching you, waiting to take their own, but it’s kind of fun so you really ought to do it. The maid will take your picture if you don’t have someone with you who can.

221B Baker Street: The Sherlock Holmes Museum In London

Mrs Hudson’s Bedroom

After the study, we went up another flight of stairs and into Mrs. Hudson’s bedroom. She was Holmes’ and Watson’s landlady, if you weren’t aware. Her room is surrounded in glass cases and shelves displaying objects that fans will recognize from the stories. (And I might have if I’d read any in this century. I’m going to get on that right away.) This room is much larger and more open than those downstairs, and a little less popular, so we were able to take a bit more time looking around without bumping into things or being shoved by other visitors.

221B Baker Street: The Sherlock Holmes Museum In London

221B Baker Street: The Sherlock Holmes Museum In London

Watson’s Bedroom

On the same floor as Mrs. Hudson’s room is the bedroom belonging to the beloved Doctor Watson. Given that I didn’t have much time to explore the study and Sherlock’s bedroom, this room ended up being my favorite from the tour. Like Mrs. Hudson’s room, there are many things showcased in here that readers will recognize from the stories, but also those that are so very Watson, like his books of medicine and the butterfly collection hanging on the wall. I’ve always liked Watson (and not just because Jude Law plays him in the movies!), who, if I remember correctly, is the narrator of all the Sherlock Holmes stories.

221B Baker Street: The Sherlock Holmes Museum In London

221B Baker Street: The Sherlock Holmes Museum In London

Wax Figures

Up yet another flight of stairs is what I’d call the “Madame Tussauds section”, and how appropriate as Madame Tussauds is just a short walk away from the Sherlock Holmes Museum. This part of the museum creeped me out big time. Wax figures representing characters like The Man With The Twisted Lip and Professor Moriarty are just a little too real-looking for me, although they are kind of fun to take goofy pictures with if you’re not afraid of other people looking at you oddly. (I’m used to getting the weird side-eye glance when I take pictures for the blog. Trust me, it stops bothering you after awhile.)

My final take on the Sherlock Holmes Museum? Too many people in too small of a space. There are so many things to look at, but not enough time and space to see them in. We were in and out in about 15-20 minutes. No one made us leave, but as new groups were coming in after us and stragglers from the groups before us still hadn’t left yet, the museum became uncomfortably crowded and I just wanted to get out. If you’re a fan of the books, and not just the movies, it would definitely be worth the chaos to see the museum. Everyone else, maybe not so much. If you’re intent on seeing it, going early on a weekday would probably alleviate some of the congestion inside the museum and make the experience a little more enjoyable. But that, my dear readers, is elementary advice, now isn’t it? (See what I did there?)

Sherlock Holmes Museum: Website
Address: 221b Baker Street, London NW1 6XE

Did you enjoy this article or find it helpful? Save it for later on Pinterest!

221B Baker Street: The Sherlock Holmes Museum In London

Share this post:

  • Liz Spinks | Unsettled Living
    February 25, 2014 at 8:37 PM

    I was never a reader of the stories, but I do thoroughly enjoy both Elementary and Sherlock. Both were cast so well. Don’t forget to check out the latter, it’s wonderful! And there are some beautiful shots of London too.
    This is my first comment on your blog, having just discovered it. I’m thoroughly enjoying reading about your big move.

    • Sarah Shumate
      February 26, 2014 at 8:43 AM

      I need to sit down and watch the Sherlock seasons – if I’m correct, there’s only been 10 episodes produced? That shouldn’t be hard to catch up on!

      I’m so glad you commented and let me know you’d been reading! I see you’re a blogger, too – I’ll head over and check out yours as soon as I finish this comment!

      • Liz Spinks | Unsettled Living
        February 27, 2014 at 2:07 AM

        Yep. The Brits sure know how to leave ’em wanting more. Sherlock’s Dr. Watson is played by Martin Freeman from the British “The Office”. There were 14 episodes. The US did 187!!!
        Thanks again for the visit. :D

  • Dannielle @ Chicadeedee
    February 7, 2014 at 1:11 PM

    Our friends went here and loved it but they are die hard fans. I probably wouldn’t get most of it!

  • Sara Louise
    February 7, 2014 at 10:56 AM

    I wonder if it ever has any not-so-busy times or if it is constantly crowded. It looks like a fun stop, but I would definitely be creeped out by the wax statues, even that last photo is too creepy for me :P

    • Sarah Shumate
      February 7, 2014 at 2:09 PM

      I’m not really sure – I would guess weekdays are better as long as you aren’t visiting in the summer or on school holidays. I read online that in the summer, people wait for 2-3 hours to get in. That’s just crazy!

  • Diana Bockus
    February 6, 2014 at 7:03 PM

    That’s so awesome! The fax figure is definitely a little on the creepy side!

  • Mandy Southgate
    February 5, 2014 at 7:24 PM

    Gorgeous photos Sarah! I must admit that I loved my first visit to the museum and as I was with a 16-year-old super fan, we did take our time. But when I returned the second time (with the 16-year-old’s parents), not even their love of all things Holmes could make them brave the queue.

  • Tammy Chrzan
    February 5, 2014 at 12:38 AM

    I agree, not a place I would want to be rushed, but the wax figure is a bit creepy, I think that’s a room I would have quickly moved out of!! Great post Sarah!
    Much love, and I Hope you’re having a Rocking week,
    Tammy x

  • Ashley | Domestic Fashionista
    February 4, 2014 at 9:40 PM

    Sounds like I am about as big of a Sherlock fan as you are…but the photo ops itself is well worth the trip! These are too cute!

  • Emmymom
    February 4, 2014 at 9:32 PM

    I think i am about as much of a fan as you are, loved the movies but don’t really know much after that. That last figure is creepy looking!

  • Alyx
    February 4, 2014 at 8:19 PM

    What a cool experience!! All of your posts really make me want to visit England!

  • Jo
    February 4, 2014 at 11:12 AM

    Sounds quaint and you got some cute pictures

    • Sarah Shumate
      February 4, 2014 at 2:32 PM

      We got some even sillier ones with some of the wax figures, but the lighting was so horrible that I didn’t want to post them here. I think we need to go to Madame Tussaud’s – we had too much fun with those wax people.

      • Jo
        February 4, 2014 at 3:32 PM

        I’m dying to go to Madame T. Went years ago to the one in Amsterdam (long before the kids were born) and I think they would love to go.

        • Sarah Shumate
          February 4, 2014 at 8:17 PM

          Now I’m thinking we might try to go this weekend! Have you seen the ticket prices, though? They’re pretty outrageous!

          • Jo
            February 5, 2014 at 11:52 AM

            I know! I’ve been looking at taking the kids over but with the price of the train and hotel I’m just about want to die at the thought of spending that much money on tickets for Madame Ts

  • rorybore
    February 4, 2014 at 4:42 PM

    My hubby would love this. and he’s completely oblivious when in crowds – he’d just stand there taking his time, not caring. ha he’s very handy to have around some times.
    You got some really great pictures despite the crowd.
    And don’t you just love that show Elementary!? The guy they cast as Sherlock, while no Robert Downey Jr., is pretty fantastic. And I love the chemistry with Lucy Liu.

  • Emma @ AdventuresofaLondonKiwi
    February 4, 2014 at 12:59 PM

    What a cool thing to do – I’m loving the photo of you and Lexie. You’re right, it’s one of those things that HAVE to be done!

  • Quyen Nguyen
    February 4, 2014 at 3:50 AM

    Fun museum! I love all of the Sherlock Holmes shows and movies!

  • Tina @ Girl-Meets-Globe
    February 3, 2014 at 9:58 PM

    Looks pretty fun, but yeah, the crowds would get to me too!! You’re braver than I on snapping fun photos. I guess I just need to suck it up, get over it and I’ll eventually get use to it is what you’re saying. It’s the sucking it up I’m not sure I can get past! ;)

  • Connie Weiss
    February 3, 2014 at 3:38 PM

    We have a restaurant in Lakewood called The Bakers Street Pub with all kinds of stuff like this in it. Now it makes sense!!

  • Stacie Stamper
    February 3, 2014 at 3:29 PM

    Love seeing all of the sights with you, my virtual tour guide. And that shot of you and Lexie is so much fun!

  • Jenn
    February 3, 2014 at 8:22 PM

    I love Sherlock but I’m not good with crowds at all or being rushed. Midweek morning it is for me!

  • andrea
    February 3, 2014 at 8:10 PM

    We just started watching the show, so my husband would probably like this, but it sounds like a quick tour for the price involved!

  • Keith Wynn
    February 3, 2014 at 1:48 PM

    This is totally awesome. I actually need to watch the show!!

  • Fem
    February 3, 2014 at 7:14 PM

    Cool! Pity that the creepy wax figures cannot be replaced by Benedict Cumberbatch… but still… :)

    • Sarah Shumate
      February 4, 2014 at 10:36 AM

      Exactly! A live version would be even better… :)

      • Fem
        February 4, 2014 at 12:24 PM

        och aye, indeed :P

  • Sammy @ Days Like This
    February 3, 2014 at 10:52 AM

    I really enjoyed the Sherlock Holmes museum. I do agree that it is very tiny and you do feel pressure to just whiz in and out. Would be great to have it all to yourself for a good while.

  • Katrin
    February 3, 2014 at 1:37 PM

    Thank you so much for sharing this! I mean, you know I love all kinds of crime and mystery so this would be the perfect museum for me! I hope I will be able to visit someday! I hate to be rushed too so it would be nice to be the only visitor. :)

  • Tanya @Other Side of the Road
    February 3, 2014 at 10:40 AM

    That is one creepy looking wax figure. And definitely an expensive 15 minute visit! Thanks for the tip.

  • Jacintha | Urban Pixxels
    February 3, 2014 at 7:51 AM

    Great, I was wondering if it was worth going here. I haven’t read any of the books, but I love the movies and tv series. Looks like a fun museum. Too bad though that you’re in and out so quickly.